Q: I was a driver for people offering Hajj, but I was not able to depart from `Arafah except at 2:00 according to sunset timing [an ancient method of calculating time starting a new day after sunset], I reached Muzdalifah along with my associates where we performed Maghrib and `Isha' Prayers, then I kept them in Muzdalifah at 4:00 according to the sunset timing, and I went to Mina by car along with the luggage intending to return to Muzdalifah to spend the night there, but there was a traffic jam, and I returned several times using several roads trying to get there, but I ended up in Makkah. Therefore, I returned once more to Mina, but I was prohibited by the police authority, and could not enter Muzdalifah until it was 8:00, thus I spent the night in Muzdalifah within the crowds outside the blacktopped road lines (inside Muzdalifah), and I stayed at Muzdalifah during the days of Tashriq (11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah), and did not enter Mina except at the times of throwing the Jamarat (stone pillars at which pebbles are thrown during Hajj). We were divided into two groups, one entered at night and spent the night at Mina, and the other stayed with me in the tent at Muzdalifah. What is your opinion on this? What is the ruling if the sun set while I was still in the mentioned place in Muzdalifah on the second day if I wasn't in a hurry? Am I obliged to throw the pebbles on the third day? Please advise us, May Allah reward you.

A: First: If the case is as you mentioned, that you tried to enter Mina but you could not, so you stayed in Muzdalifah during the days of Tashriq due to not finding a place in Mina as you have mentioned in your question, there is nothing upon you for departing from Muzdalifah as long as you returned before dawn, there is also nothing upon your associates who spent the night in Muzdalifah on the days of Tashriq for Allah (Exalted be He) says:Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 286 Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope. and:Surah Al-Hajj, 22: 78 and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship

Second: if the sun set on the twelfth day while you were still at your place in Muzdalifah, you were not obliged to spend the night or to throw pebbles, as you were outside Mina .

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'
Deputy Chairman Chairman
`Abdul-Razzaq `Afify `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz